Preview - MSI P45 "Eaglelake" Motherboards

The MSI P45 Platinum Series

The MSI P45 Platinum Series

With a new Circu-Pipe heatsink and MSI enhancements like the DrMOS feature prominently displayed on the board, MSI has no shortage of features on its P45 Platinum series of motherboards, which comes in either DDR2 or DDR3 flavors. DrMOS for instance, promises up improvements in energy efficiency and lower power consumption over conventional MOSFETs.

MSI has two Platinum P45 boards, one with DDR2 (P45 Platinum) and the other with DDR3 support (P45D3 Platinum).

We'll be looking at the DDR3 version, though with the exception of the DRAM modules, both boards are exactly the same.

The MSI P45D3 Platinum comes with six USB2.0 ports, 1 eSATA and since it has HD audio onboard, the usual audio I/O. There's also only one Ethernet port instead of the two on the Diamond. Note the heatsink jutting to the rear I/O panel area - the design takes advantage of cooler air outside the system to further cool the heat pipe.

After the rollercoaster ride that was the original Circu-Pipe, MSI now has the second version, Circu-Pipe 2 on its P45 Platinum boards. With up to five separate heat pipes and their respective set of fins, MSI is touting temperatures of around 35 degrees Celsius under load. We'll report on this aspect as soon as we get down to testing them.

There's no polymer capacitors on the Platinum but solid capacitors are fine with us. Despite the seemingly close proximity of the capacitors to the socket, there's still ample space surrounding the socket for exotic heatsinks (if they've the height clearance).

As you can see, there are more than sufficient SATA ports for most users.

MSI has these OC jumpers which allow overclockers to change their ratio tables for optimal overclocking. However, we are inclined to prefer a wholly BIOS solution for this, especially since a large, dual slot graphics card (GeForce 9800 GX2) would likely make it quite difficult to reach these jumpers.

The same Realtek RTL8111C Ethernet chip is found on both Diamond and Platinum boards.

There's HD Audio onboard the Platinum boards and its provided by this popular Realtek ALC888 codec.

Like the Diamond, these handy red buttons for Power and Reset are also found on the Platinum series.

And with that, we have looked through some of the upcoming Intel P45 models from MSI. We'll be doing the proper reviews once they are ready for retail so keep an eye out on this page at